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Fight dangerous state laws

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On Tuesday, the state Assembly voted 41-34 to pass AB 1831 (Dickinson), which would prohibit a local agency, like the City of Auburn, from asking or even considering the criminal history of a job applicant on any initial employment application. If AB 1831 is enacted, Auburn?s fire chief would be prohibited from asking a potential firefighter, when he or she fills out an employment application, whether he or she has been arrested and/or convicted of sexual assault, theft or even arson. A job applicant in the city?s finance department wouldn?t have to reveal a criminal history related to embezzlement and other financial crimes. The city?s public works director would be prohibited from asking an engineering job applicant, one who inspects and signs-off on the workmanship of multi-million dollar public works projects, if he or she has a criminal history. The California Police Chiefs Association writes in opposition to AB 1831, ?there are entire classes of employees whose criminal history could cause public harm: building inspectors, code enforcement officers, records clerks, public utility workers occupy positions of public trust and the citizens of a jurisdiction are ill-served if the persons occupying those positions have the types of criminal records that could endanger the public.? Measure A provides hope. If Measure A passes, Auburn as a charter city will continue to abide by current state and federal employment laws and avoid the ?don?t ask policy? limitations of AB 1831. The California Constitution provides the framework for county and city governments to operate in a manner consistent with ?municipal affairs? without state legislative interference. The lawful reach of AB 1831 can best be clarified in the future by the California Supreme Court. The City of Auburn should be free to hire honest well qualified applicants without interference and continued limitation of ?municipal affairs?. Vote yes on Measure A. Valerie Harris, retired Auburn police chief